Comedy Central’s Nathan Fielder Is Owner of Dumb Starbucks

Nathan Fielder
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The mystery of the Dumb Starbucks is solved: Nathan Fielder, star of Comedy Central’s “Nathan For You,” is the comedian behind the parody.

He made the announcement Monday afternoon in a press conference outside the shop that popped up in Los Feliz, Calif., this weekend, seemingly out of nowhere, and sent social media into a stir. It attracted massive crowds and lines for the coffee and pastries — which were really just purchased from local grocery stores — went out the door.

Fielder revealed that the Los Feliz location will be open until Friday, and that a second location will launch in Brooklyn. In “Nathan for You,” Fielder stars as an off-kilter version of himself who gives, fittingly, unconventional advice to struggling business.

In conjunction with the press conference, the Dumb Starbucks Twitter account posted a video from Fielder that apparently went on YouTube on Saturday. In it, he defends the legality of the store.

“By adding the word ‘dumb,’ we are legally allowed to use the coveted Starbucks name and logo because we’ve fulfilled the minimum requirements to be considered a parody under U.S. law,” he said in the video. However, many have been questioning if Fielder is breaking trademark laws.

“We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark,” Starbucks said in a statement over the weekend.

The reveal comes after artist Marc Horowitz has previously taken credit for the prank. Neither Horowitz not Fielder have commented whether or not they were in on it together.

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  1. DG says:

    Sure.

    And now I can open up “Dumb Disneyland” park tomorrow–dumb mouse ears and all.

    NOT!

    Shall we deport this “comedian” back to Canada–right alongside Beiber?

    Where’s the petition?

  2. emilyremixed says:

    Yeah, there’s a difference between copyright (protects original works) and trademark (protects brands), so I seriously doubt “many have been questioning whether Fielder is breaking copyright laws.”

    Starbucks has him dead to rights on trademark dilution — the commercial use of a trademark that “tarnishes” the brand’s “reputation.”

    It’s hard to imagine that Fielder doesn’t have a single lawyer friend who’d tell him this. Stunt.

  3. Bill says:

    Trade dress and registered trade marks are not covered by the “parody” portion of copyright law.

    I’m shocked they don’t have a C&D and a judge’s order already.

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